The proliferation of sex induced contents on social media and television channels have necessitated for improved parenting at homes, speakers unanimously agreed at the launch of The Lighthouse Project, at Ken-Ade Primary School, Makoko, Lagos State, at the weekend.
Hundreds of girls participated at The Lighthouse Project, an outreach for the empowerment and enlightenment of the girl-child initiated by Mrs. Oluranti Ibiyemi.
While inaugurating the Project under the theme, “The Power of the Girl-Child”, Mr. Femi Aminu, an IT expert and Pastor, described the Initiative as timely in addressing multifaceted societal challenges faced by the girl-child in the contemporary world.
He said, “I think The Lighthouse Teens Club (TLC) is something very interesting. I never expected the attendance here today. I really want to give kudos to the visionary for conceiving this project. This is what we need. If people who are privileged can look at things like this to give back to the society, it will go a long way to addressing multifaceted societal challenges we have today.
“In this age of information boom and wide spread of social media, regardless of the channel, there is proliferation of contents, both negative and positive. In other words, it is not about the channel but the content. If you are not careful, the internet is enough to parent and nurture the children in the part we do not want. So, we need organizations like this to take over the channels with adequate contents that will resonate the dignity of the girl-child. Ultimately, it is about success.
Delivering the first teaching on “Staying Pure, even if it is not fashionable’, Mrs. Kunbi Oluwaseun, a seasoned counselor and teen’s teacher, urged parents to be closer to their children, adding that parental control over entertainment contents can go a long way in curbing over exposure to illicit videos and nude pictures.
She said, “The parents should get to know their girl-child and the boy-child too because it takes a boy to defy a girl. Spend time with them, especially at the formative years. It doesn’t mean you should quit your job, but have a check on the activities of your children.
On her part, Mrs. Funke Oguntuga, founder of Heartmanders Societal Advancement Initiative, called for the ‘hijack’ of the societal media for the good of the children, especially the girl-child.
Oguntuga said, “Social media have come to stay, but we must ‘hijack’ them for the good of the girl-child. It baffles me when I see parents, particularly mothers who are engrossed to the societal media and they are there sharing pictures about ‘saloon day’ ‘social gathering and all that, but forgetting to promote that little girl who have done the family proud in her educational pursuit”.
To the Vissionaire she said, “I feel very glad that she has chosen this area, because a lot of works have to be done in Makoko with regards to winning the girl-child for good. So, I would want her to focus on ‘Champion Teens’ who will win others. It is a worthwhile project”.
Explaining her motivation for The Lighthouse Project, the Convener, Ms. Oluranti Ibiyemi said that she intends to educate and help the teens overcome background challenges that might dampen their future.
Ms. Ibiyemi said, “As a young girl while growing up I discovered that I always had a passion for anything that had to do with girls and women. I believe strongly that irrespective of background or environment a girl can be an achiever. I had a strong push to contribute my quota to society by impacting girls around”.
On choice of Makoko area, she said “Yes. My main target is reaching out to girls within the communities that can be regarded as slums and May not have access to basic amenities. I believe there are several voices already speaking for the girl child in Nigeria. But we need more So that we can reach these girls effectively and have a lasting impact”.
She also harped on the need for good parenting in the present day society, adding, “Parents should try to devote time to know their children. Take time to get closer to them and be friends with them. We know the state of the economy and everyone is trying to survive nevertheless children need guidance and training and parents shouldn’t leave this to others”.
She said that moving forward, she intends to introduce mentoring programs and teaching of life skills to the smaller group and hopes they can impact others on the long run.
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